Sneakerhead: One who is in love with but not limited to Jordans, Forces, Dunks, Maxes, etc.; Willing to camp out and face lines that wind around blocks for a pair of once in a lifetime exclusives; likely to kill you if you step on their kicksUrban Dictionary
For this post, the most important part of this urban dictionary definition is: “Willing to camp out and face lines that wind around blocks for a pair of once in a lifetime exclusives.” What do you do when you want the kicks, but you’d rather sleep in or buy from the comfort of your own climate-controlled home? Log onto StockX
What is StockX?
StockX is an online marketplace for buying and selling products such as sneakers, streetwear, watches, handbags, and recently, gaming consoles. The current valuation is $3.8 billion following the latest funding round completed at the end of March 2021. In 2020, StockX generated over $400 million in revenue and has poised itself for an IPO later this year.
Founded in 2015 by Josh Luber as a way to take his hobby of collecting sneakers and be able to actually profit from it. Luber wanted to build “the stock market of things” and has been able to grow that idea into a global business. The company is headquartered in Detroit, MI.
Now that we have a bit of background on the company let’s pivot away from the equity report format. Why has StockX grown so rapidly and been so successful? It seems like a fairly straightforward idea, someone does the hard job by building a bot for online releases or stands in a line for hours or even days to buy shoes or any of the other things found on the marketplace, and then resells them for a markup. Classic middleman scenario. A tale as old as time. So why does StockX have the magic sauce?
According to quite a few of the articles I read, one magic sauce ingredient is the ease of use or convenience. StockX allows buyers to search thousands of items to find the exact thing they are looking for. They can then buy immediately or try their luck at a bid process. StockX then works to confirm your purchase and gives the seller 2 days to ship the item to a StockX authentication center. StockX authenticates the item and then ships it out to the buyer. Does StockX charge a fee to do all this work so the people on either side of the transaction don’t have to? Of course. Do people really seem to mind? Not so much. The authentication provided by StockX is another ingredient in the magic sauce. Not many other marketplaces authenticated items when StockX burst on the scene, so this helped to really build trust with buyers as they were ensured their purchase was not a scam or a fake.
The last two major ingredients to round out the StockX magic sauce are: data and brand. StockX allows buyers and sellers to track their items through the entire “supply chain.” As a collector, you can track all of your purchases on StockX and also manually add in anything you purchased not on StockX to have a comprehensive list of the items in your collection. StockX consistently tracks market value of items based on marketplace transactions, so you can always see what each one of your items is worth at any given moment. If you’re thinking this sounds very similar to how one may track the value of assets in a portfolio, then you’re on the right track. Many StockX users look at their sneakers as tradeable assets rather than clothing. This point of view would have never gained traction if not for online marketplaces like StockX. Lastly, the StockX name is now synonymous with its global reach and trusted process. StockX has worked to partner with small-businesses and was also involved in Paris Fashion Week a few years ago.
I think we can definitely say that StockX has made a huge impact on the online resell marketplace landscape and will continue to do so as it expands into other products as well as partnering with designers to launch products exclusively through the StockX platform. All of that being said, I think the rise of streetwear within the mainstream fashion industry has also really added to the StockX hype. Sneakers have always been popular, but the extraordinary rise in demand for sought after brands like Jordans has worked to help fuel the exponential growth of StockX.
I have never purchased shoes from StockX (did purchase an Xbox Series S to win the best Aunt award at Christmas), but I have stood in line for a release, and I would say that the ease of use and lack of anxiety that comes with purchasing from StockX is well worth the markup (within reason obviously, however it all depends on how much you want it, right?). To quote the great Nelly “Give me two pairs cause I need two pairs.”
Have you ever purchased something from StockX? Was it a super easy transaction? Was is sneakers? If so, which ones?